Team leaders: UNLV and South Carolina (16-over 584)
Individual leader: Carl Jonson, UNLV (2-under 140)
In position: T-3. Auburn (586), T-3. Stanford (586), T-5. Texas Tech (587), T-5. New Mexico (587)
Chasing: 7. Missouri (595), T-8. Charlotte (596), T-8. San Francisco (596)
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After 36 holes of golf in the Columbus Regional, not a single team has the comfort of breathing room heading into the final round.
South Carolina, the No. 4 seed, unseated first-round leader Charlotte early in Round 2, but the Gamecocks stumbled on the closing holes at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Golf Course and gave away what little cushion they had. They share the lead after 36 holes with UNLV.
Charlotte was 22 shots worse in Round 2 and fell into tie for eighth with San Francisco. The 49ers are nine shots back of fifth place. The top five teams advance to the NCAA Championship.
“I would have taken tied for the lead at start of the week, but the way it finished it was frustrating because had we finished well, we would have had created some separation,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “Overall, we are in a good spot. I don’t feel like we have really played that well, and to be tied for the lead I am pretty happy about that.”
With only five qualifying spots available, only three shots separate the first six teams on the leaderboard.
“It’s going to be interesting tomorrow. The leaderboard is so bunched up with a lot of teams in the mix for a lot of things – winning or top 5,” New Mexico head coach Glen Millican said.
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Seeding doesn’t matter
New Mexico made the journey to Ohio as the top seed in the Columbus Regional.
“The only thing the seedings mean is what time you tee off on the first day,” Millican said.
The Lobos have had a great season, winning four times and entering the postseason ranked No. 5 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. But they have yet to find their stride at the Scarlet Course.
“It does not matter what kind of year you have had. You have to play good golf this time of the year. We have a chance going into the last round to win and advance,” Millican said. “Our guys have not played bad. This is a great golf course. It is really fair, and it requires great golf.”
Two Lobos posted under-par rounds in Round 2: James Erkenbeck (1-under 70) and John Catlin (2-under 69). Catlin was one of only two players to break 70 Friday.
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After an opening-round 73, 2012 U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox of Chattanooga posted a second round 6-over 77, likely ruining his chances of advancing to the NCAA finals as an individual. Chattanooga is in 11th place in the team standings, 11 shots out of fifth place. . . . Missouri, the No. 5 seed and winners of six tournaments this year, sit seventh, eight shots back of fifth. . . . The scoring average for Round 2 was 75.25, slightly from the opening-round average of 75.05.